World Fantasy Convention

World Fantasy Con is just around the corner. Next week to be exact. Let me catch my breath because I feel like I’m running out of time to do all the things I want to do so I don’t fall behind while I’m at WFC.

I’ve updated the book blog today with a review by Weng. This time, she reviews an urban fantasy novel by J. Damask. Head over and read if you have time.

It looks like this is going to be one busy convention as I want to meet and hang out with so many people. I’ve also heard this is the con where if folks see someone they need to talk to because of work, that comes first. So, if you’re in convo with me and see someone walking by who you must talk to, I won’t be offended or hurt if you run off in mid-sentence.

Here’s where I’ll be at World Fantasy:

Friday: 17.00  We’re All Bloggers Now (Cambridge, Track B)

Sunday: 10.00 Reading (Hall 8B, Readings 2)

Sunday: 11.00 Signing for the On The Road Anthology (Signing Alley)

I’ll be attending World Fantasy together with fellow World SF supported writer Csilla Kleinheincz. This will be our first World Fantasy Con and I am looking forward to it. Thanks again to Lavie Tidhar and Sean Wallace, to the World SF Blog and to folks who supported the Indiegogo campaign that made this possible for Csilla and I.

Speaking Truth

(After reading Robert M. de Ungria’s An English Apart (from Pinoy Poetics edited by Nick Carbo)

They painted English on my tongue.

Borrowed words to cover the language of my birth

I was proud because of the fluency of my English

I had mastered the master’s tongue.

(Not Taglish, not accented English, but English as the Americans speak it.)

Now, in a distant land, my English is overlaid

with the language of a country that isn’t mine.

My heart yearns to say to the one seated beside me

I am the color of earth, I am kayumanggi

and so is my tongue.

In my ears, I hear the chants of the storytellers

from long ago.

I hear the song of the noseflute

I feel the gongs drumming in my blood.

Maphod. Maphod.

I realize too late how much I have lost.

Is it not a tragedy that I can spell far better in these foreign tongues

than I can in the languages of my birth?

Who here will teach me? Who here will speak to me in the languages

of the Beloved Country?

Author Interview: Shimon Adaf


Read the rest of the interview at Chie and Weng Read Books.

Originally posted on Chie and Weng Read Books:

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Sunburnt Faces is one of those books that stays with you long after you’ve read it. In this interview, Shimon Adaf talks about inspiration, process and language among other things.

Would you like to speak first about the inspiration behind Sunburnt Faces and the process you went through in writing it? 

It took me a while to get to writing fiction. I was thirty when I wrote my first novel. Before this I wrote and published poetry. In my first novels I was constantly looking for structural devices to maintain the interest of the novel.  My first novel took the detective form; I say the “detective form’, because I was interested more in the way the existence of a murder mystery drives the protagonist towards a certain metaphysical knowledge than finding the culprit. After finishing it, I had this image of a young girl in my head, wandering around…

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A busy week

Last week was quite a busy week. I got to meet up with friends and talk about writing and work and what it means to be a feminist, an sff writer, and a Filipino woman in the Netherlands. Lots of interesting conversations and lots of food for thought.

I’ve been interviewed by Sean Wright of Galactic Chat. The interview is now live and you can listen to it here. My thanks to Sean Wright for thinking of me and for his thoughtful and thought-provoking questions. I found myself thinking about them long after the interview was over.

Fabulous SFF writer, Eileen Gunn, was unexpectedly in Amsterdam. I feel so very lucky to have gotten this rare opportunity to catch up with someone whose work I admire. We chatted about the diversity conversations and the difficulties in the genre as well as the struggle to be heard. It was interesting to talk about this subject with someone who has a deeper insight into what genre looks like in the US and what struggles PoC writers and QUILTBAG writers face.

I also had a wonderful conversation with Flavia Dzodan on the issue of struggle. Also connected with the conversations on diversity and inclusiveness. And I gained new heart for the challenge that still lies ahead.

My heart is strengthened by these conversations with empowered and strong women and this is all giving me more food for thought as I reflect on the a poetics of struggle.

Workwise, I am pushing myself forward in terms of the novel. There’s a difference in pacing and structure when it comes to writing a novel and writing a short story. I’m experiencing those differences now. I’ll be finishing up a novella soon, as well. So that’s going to be first for me.

I’ll be posting my schedule for World Fantasy soon. If you’re going to be in Brighton, I would be happy to meet and chat and catch up.

Book Review: Sunburnt Faces by Shimon Adaf


My sister has reviewed Sunburnt Faces by Shimon Adaf. Check it out if you have time.

Originally posted on Chie and Weng Read Books:

Reviewed by Rowena C. Ruiz

And God Said to her, “Rise, Ori, my light, for your light has come.” 

And He let her fall from her life, although she hadn’t realized that she was at such a great height. 

And she fell.

Sunburnt Faces opens with a dramatic incident that takes place in the life of the main character, Ori, when she is at the cusp of adulthood.  God speaks to her from the TV set. This incident proves to be a defining moment for the events that follow later in life, and this experience becomes a thread which winds throughout the novel.

As we follow the events that take place during Ori’s childhood, we are also compelled to think of the incidents that have had a profound influence upon us. How do we deal with traumatic incidents? How do cope in a world that is filled with upheaval? Ori finds…

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busy week

It’s been a very busy week, and I’ve lagged behind again on quite a number of things. Next week, we’ll be updating the book blog with a review of Sunburnt Faces and with an in-depth interview from Shimon Adaf.

Adaf’s novel is a complex read and that makes it more challenging for the reviewer. Big sis says that this is the first novel she’s struggled with when it comes to reviewing. It’s not that the previous books were simpler or easier reads, but Sunburnt Faces owns a complexity that makes it difficult for the reader to sum-up.

As we discussed this book, I realized that while I, as a writer may look at the technical and craft aspects of the work, and while I am often intrigued by the process the author went through in putting this story together, my sister, who is interested in books because of what she simply enjoys reading will look at this story differently. It’s quite possible that we take away different things from it as well, and that to me makes this reading of a book and talking together about it to be a worthwhile exercise.

I find myself wondering to what extent the experience of writing and engaging craft affects our approach to books and stories. Already, I have become quite aware of my snarky nature when it comes to films (my eldest son refuses to watch a film with me unless I agree to shut up).

How about books?

That’s something that I’ll probably have to think more on.

A process conversation with Benjanun Sriduangkaew


After a two week break, we’re resuming posts at the Book Blog. Do drop by and read this process conversation with Thai writer, Benjanun Sriduangkaew.

Originally posted on Chie and Weng Read Books:


On August 2012, Expanded Horizons published Chang’e Dashes from the Moon. It was Benjanun Sriduangkaew‘s first publication and since then she’s gone on to publish stories in a variety of places including Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Clarkesworld Magazine, Giganotasaurus and the highly praised Clockwork Phoenix 4. Chang’e Dashes to the Moon was included in the Heiresses of Russ anthology (released in 2013). Other places where her work can be found include the postcolonial sff anthology, We See a Different Frontier and the upcoming The End of the Road anthology edited by Jonathan Oliver (Solaris).

In 2014, Benjanun will be up for the Campbell Award. Here, we talk about her work, influences and her impression of genre in Thailand.

 How long have you been writing SFF and what was your first exposure to the genre? 

I’m a very late bloomer – I only started writing at all in 2011, in my…

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